November 8, 2017 – At approximately 5:10 PM Tuesday evening, commute traffic on southbound Highway 49 was increasing steadily near the end of the Golden Center Freeway, causing traffic slowdowns and backups in the area, especially where the two lanes of the freeway merge into a single traffic lane.
69 year-old Grass Valley resident James Thompson was driving a Lexus sedan southbound on Hwy. 49, south of McKnight Way, at approximately 50 MPH. Based on a preliminary investigation, Thompson failed to observe the severely slowing/stopping traffic ahead of him, and struck a stopped Mazda sedan driven by 23 year-old Grass Valley resident Dominick Terronez. The Mazda was propelled forward at high speed and struck a Subaru driven by 35 year-old Nevada City resident Gerret Mr. George. The Mazda then overturned in the roadway, blocking southbound Hwy. 49.
CHP officers responded to the scene along with fire department personnel, EMS, area law enforcement agencies, and Caltrans personnel. Terronez sustained serious injuries in the collision. He was transported by ground ambulance to the Sutter Roseville Medical Center for treatment. Thompson sustained minor-to-moderate injuries and was transported to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. George was not transported by ambulance.
CHP is handling the ongoing investigation. The roadway was blocked for approximately 45 minutes until the vehicles and debris were removed from the roadway. There were several other non-injury collisions in the area in the traffic congestion following this incident.